§ Mr. Onslow
I am advised by the Civil Aviation Authority that the more rapid growth of aircraft movements in 1972 at Manchester and Birmingham, compared to Heathrow, can be explained in part by the following factors:
- (1) The major element of traffic growth in 1972 was in charter move-
124 ments; such movements are highly restricted at Heathrow, representing under 3 per cent. of total movements.
- (2) The modest increase in aircraft movements at Heathrow in 1972 was unrepresentative of total movements within the London area—particularly with the inclusion of Luton. In other words, the growth of traffic was concentrated on Gatwick and Luton.
- (3) The introduction of wide-bodied aircraft has so far primarily affected the long-haul scheduled operators, and airports such as Heathrow, serving the needs of such operators. If the comparison between Manchester and Birmingham and Heathrow had been based on passengers carried rather than on aircraft movements, it would have shown the following results:
Percentage growth, 1971–72 (years to end September) of passengers carried:
per cent. Heathrow … … … +10.4 Manchester … … … +13.8 Birmingham … … … +12.8
Further, the growth rate for all London Area airports, including Luton, was 12.3 per cent. This shows that the demand for air transport in the London area shows no signs of slackening.
§ Mr. Michael Heseltine
I do not foresee any increase in air transport movements at Heathrow and Gatwick once Maplin is operational. A reduction in movements will depend on a judgment at the relevant dates on the need to improve the noise environment.